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Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2021

Applying Mindfulness Meditation to Influence Perceived Stress Levels and Well-Being in Graduate Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Nicolas Mangan

Graduate, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Stephanie Vorce

Graduate, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Abstract

Mindfulness meditation (MM) has been documented to have beneficial effects in terms of reducing stress and improving well-being (McConville, McAleer, & Hahne, 2017). It is the intent our current study to teach Doctoral level student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) MM exercises to determine whether this intervention can assist in reducing individual perceived stress levels. A grant proposal will be submitted to create a designated room in the UWO College of Nursing Building in which these techniques can be practiced by students. Over an 8-week period during the summer of 2020, 21 graduate level SRNAs at UWO received a new guided MM exercise each week via the UWO educational platform Canvas. Stress levels and well-being were assessed separately prior to and following the intervention using a pre- and post-test survey. The results support the necessity for creating a mindfulness space in the College of Nursing at UWO. The MM space will be constructed within the College of Nursing and a mindfulness workshop will subsequently be developed. In the future, a room dedicated to these practices can be utilized for further teaching, personal practice of mindfulness techniques, and to advance research in this area.

Project Background 

Shortly after beginning our graduate careers at UWO, we realized how quickly stress can mount trying to manage didactic work, clinical schedules, financial obligations, and personal life. There are many services at UWO that provide assistance to those students confronted by stress or other mental health problems, but some may have trouble taking advantage of these services for a multitude of reasons. We wanted to assess how effective mindfulness meditation (MM) was to student stress levels and well-being after an 8-week MM tool was implemented. The results from the MM surveys were very positive and this supported the grant that was written to create a MM space in the College of Nursing. The space will offer a quiet place for students to de-stress by using mindfulness meditation in between classes or while on campus. Many students overlook their personal health and don’t have the necessary tools to create positive coping mechanisms. We hope the teaching and space will be effective interventions to reduce stress in students at UWO.

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3 Comments

  1. Laura Ladwig

    Neat project! It would be great to create mindfulness spaces all across campus!

    Reply
  2. David Jones

    Your study clearly demonstrates that Mindfulness Meditation reduces stress–at least for some period of time. Does that finding in and of itself justify construction of mindfulness spaces, or are there significant costs associated with the construction of such spaces? (hope you get the grant)

    Reply
  3. Nathan Hornburg

    Very interesting! I love the topic as it’s something I can personally look into for myself. Great facts and resources used.

    Reply

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